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And the world's old self about to end in a his misdeeds at the Judge's ears with
merry blaze. Midsummer's Day moreover was the first of undisguised satisfaction at their thorBedford Fair;
oughness, and undisguised contempt for So, Bedford Town's tag-rag and bobtail lay
the law which could leave them so long bowsing there.
undetected whilst exerting itself to disWithin the Court,
whether 'twas Jack or Joan ... [their Lordships toiled and moiled, and Robbed the hen-roost, pinched the pig, hit the a deal of work was done]
King's arms with a stone. (I warrant) to justify the mirth of the crazy sun,
He means to expiate what he has done ; As this and t'other lout, struck dumb at the he stifles his oaths before he has quite sudden show
enjoyed their flavor, and pays a farther Of red robes and white wigs, boggled nor answered “ Boh !"
tribute to the decencies of the occasion When asked why he, Tom Styles, should not at what appears for him its thirstiest mo-because Jack Nokes
mentHad stolen the horse-be hanged : for Judges must have their jokes,
Tab, help and tell ! I'm hoarse. A mug! or And louts must make allowance-let's say, for
-no, a prayer! some blue fly
Dip for one out of the Book ! Who wrote it Which punctured a dewy scalp where the friz
in the Jail zles stuck awry
-He plied his pen unhelped by beer, sirs, I'll Else Tom had feered scot-free, so nearly over
be bail ! and done
But the retrospective zest with which he Was the main of the job. Full-measure, the
enumerates their robbings, murderings, gentles enjoyed their fun, As a twenty-five were tried, rank puritans and improprieties of every kind savors caught at prayer
far more of commission than of expiaIn a cow-house and laid by the heels,—have at tion; and his mode of tackling the im
'em, devil may care ! And ten were prescribed the whip, and ten a
aginary Apollyon in his path (supposing brand on the cheek,
himself to be in time for him) exhibits And five a slit of the nose—just leaving enough all the activity of an unregenerated flesh.
to tweak. Well, things at jolly high-tide, amusement Soon I had met in the valley and tried my steeped in fire,
cudgel's strength While noon smote fierce the roof's red tiles to On the enemy horned and winged, a-straddle heart's desire,
across its length ! The Court
a-simmer with smoke, one ferment Have at his horns, thwick-thwack : they snap, of oozy flesh,
see! Hoof and hoofOne spirituous humming musk mount-mount
Bang, break the fetlock-bones! For love's ing until its mesh
sake, keep aloof Entoiled all heads in a fluster, and Serjeant Angels! I'm man and match,—this cudgel Postlethwayte
for my flail, -Dashing the wig oblique as he mopped his To thresh him, hoofs and horns, bat's wing
and serpent's tail ! Cried" Silence, or I grow grease! No loop- He cannot quite be Christian, but he
hole lets in air? Jurymen, guilty, death! Gainsay me if you can be
be Faithful. Everything fits. dare !!!
Vanity Fair is Bedford Fair ; and St. -Things at this pitch, I say,—what hubbub Peter's Green stands for the Market
without the doors What laughs, shrieks, hoots and yells, what place. They flay him, and flog him, and rudest of uproars ?
stab him ; they knock him about as if Bounce through the barrier-throng a bulk he had nine lives, butcomes rolling vast !
ha, ha, he, Thumps, kicks,-no manner of use !-spite of
Who holds the highest card! ... them rolls at last Into the midst a ball which, bursting, brings to A chariot and pair are hiding behind the Publican Black Ned Bratts and Tabby his big heaven by the nearest gate—the gibbet
crowd-he's in it, up, and away—to wife too : Both in a muck-sweat, both . ... were will do it for him—swords and knives never such eyes uplift.
are not handy, but the gibbet is closeThe attitude of the penitent is as reso- Then hang me, draw and quarter ! Tab-do lute as his mode of appearance. There
the same by her is no mock humility about it. He pelts He is the most vigorous compound ever invented of Christian martyr and pugi- that the apparent farce is in fact a traglist dying game.
edy. The request was not likely to be re- We need scarcely say that the self-safused. Master Bratts had confessed to tire of this conversion implies no denial many deeds of which no one doubted on Mr. Browning's part of the relative his commission, and his having eluded seriousness it might possess. So much their just penalty so long, would not, if is guaranteed to it by the majestic figure he had wished it, have constituted a of John Bunyan, and by the historic plea for mercy. The idea that in his character of the religious challenge which zeal he had overstated his case would resounded in that year 1672, from the not occur to the contemporary mind, precincts of Bedford jail. Tab Bratts though it may present itself to the read- has visited the tinker there ; and his er of his adventures, The Chief Justice spoken words have effected in her a less considered it only due to his truthful. equivocal reformation than the fiery ness to grant what he adduced such ex- symbolism of the “ Pilgrim's Progress” cellent reasons for deserving ; so the could produce in her husband. She goes pair were handed over to the Sheriff to him with no friendly intent. The and dealt with as they desired; the blind daughter who carries his laces from “ two dozen odd” sentences, previous- house to house has lately avoided hers. ly passed, being remitted by his lord. These laces are exceptionally strong and ship with a view, we may suppose, to invaluable for the unlawful purposes of the good day's work which had already their trade ; and neither she nor Master been done without them.
Bratts is inclined to dispense with them This ending is not only natural in it because the profligacy of their manners self, but an almost necessary
fulfilment is likely to offend the bearer. She enof the dramatic conditions of the story. ters John Bunyan's cell with all the inThe atmosphere is pregnant from the solence she can command ; but the first with something at once horrible strength which meets her is not of her and grotesque ; and when Ned Bratts world, and the attitude of defiance is and his Tabby have rolled on to the soon exchanged for one of supplicationscene and off it for the last time, we Down on my marrow-bones! Then all at feel that that something has assumed its once rose he : most appropriate form, and no other
His brown hair burst a-spread, his eyes were conclusion would have been legitimate.
Up went his hands ; “ Through flesh, I reach, Yet it finds us only half prepared. The I read thy soul ! enthusiasm of the convert is so closely So may some stricken tree look blasted, bough identified with the vapors of heat and
, beer, that it is impossible to judge be- Champed by the fire-tooth, charred without, forehand how far it will carry him ; the
and yet, thrice-bound
With dreriment about, within may life be more so, that the possibility of a col- found, lapse is constantly present to himself. A prisoned power to branch and blossom as Half his urgency to be hung “ out of
Could but the gardener cleave the cloister, reach hand” lies in the knowledge that he
the core, may change his mind if he is not. Such
Loosea the vital sap : yet where shall help be qualms have come to him before, but found? they have not outlived the night. Even
Even Who says, 'How save it ?'-nor. Why cum
bers it the ground ? now the glories of the chariot which will
Woman, that tree art thou ! All sloughed lift him above the clouds wavers in the
about with scurf, prospective brightness of tomorrow's Thy stag-horns fright the sky, thy snake-roots bear-baiting, and the brawl on Turner's sting the turf! Patch by which it will be crowned ; and Drunkenness, wantonness, theft, murder gnash even now the Iron Cage stares him in Thine outward, case thy soul with coating like the face, and the lost man inside, and the marle that last worst state of him who warred Satan stamps flat upon each head beneath his against the light; and though such an
And how deliver such ? image might well turn the scale, we re
The strong men ceive a decided mental shock in discov- Lover and friend stand far, the mocking ones
keep aloof, ering that it was intended to do so, and pass by,
suns to see :
Tophet gapes wide for prey : lost soul, despair In “Halbert and Hob" a fierce son and die !
is engaged in a quarrel with a father What then? 'Look unto Me and be ye saved !' saith God :
generally as fierce as himself. He is "I strike the rock, outstreats the life-streams about to fling him out of the house, and at my rod!
has already dragged him to a certain turn Be your sins scarlet, wool shall they seem like, in the stairs, when the old man, who has -although
become passive at the first grip of his As crimson red, yet turn white as the driven snow!'"
hand, tells him that they are repeating She remembers no more but that it he and his own father were the actors,
step by step a scene in which years ago was by means of the blind girl's guiding and bids him listen to the warning voice hand that she regained her home ; and
by which he was then turned from the that the same hand bestowed the book as completion of his parricidal deed. The "father's boon" upon her.
words take their effect. It is Christmas “ Tray” is an anecdote of canine de- night. They pass it silently together. votion, for the publishing of which no
Dawn finds the father dead in his chair, motive was needed but its possibility; and the son terrified into a premature though it raises, and in a manner dis
and harmless senility. This episode, poses of, a question of considerable im- which we need hardly say is related in portance. A dog plunges into the river all the rugged impressiveness of which to rescue a drowning child ; then dives for a second time, and after a lengthened of hereditary character, heightened by
it is capable, strikes us simply as a study disappearance, the water being deep and coincidences of time and circumstance, the current strong, emerges again with
which seem the more dramatic in proher doll. The facts are described with all the force of contrast in the comments But Mr. Browning appears to see in it
portion as we admit them to be natural. of supposed bystanders, who welcome something
more. He presents it as an the familiar mystery of “animal in- instance of supernatural interference in stinct” in a deed to all appearance as the lives and in the hearts of men ; and intelligent as it is heroic ; and allow the its last lines contain an assertion, for the “ good dog" to risk its life in their stead answer to which we must appeal from with a quite undisturbed sense of human
him to himself. He says, superiority. The absurdness of this at- “Is there any reason in nature for these hard titude loses nothing in the sarcastic
hearts?" O Lear, spirit in which it is conceived, and we That a reason out of nature must turn them must protest in the name of “ vivisec- soft, seems clear ! tionism" against the concluding lines, But the collective labors of his literary humorous as they are
life have negatived the words. They And so, amid the laughter gay,
all tend to show what infinitely varied Trotted my hero off, -old Tray,
products may emerge from the chemistry Till somebody, prerogatived With reason, reasoned : “Why he dived,
of the human mind, and how little we His brain would show us, I should say, can say of any action or reaction of hu“John, go and catch—or, if needs be, man feeling that it is not natural. To Purchase that animal for me!
externalize, the mystery of Nature in By vivisection, at expense
some intangible manner lies in the very Of half-an-hour and eighteen pence,
language of poetry, even of the poetry How brain secretes dog's soul, we'll see !"
which recognises no personal God; and We are not aware that any one since a genius at once so reverent and so critLa Mettrie has thus proposed to catch ical as Mr. Browning's is always in dan
thinking in the act." But Mr. Brown- ger of building up with one hand a theory ing's readers will not resent some acer- which he will knock down with the bity of zeal in his defence of the weaker other. Still, we would rather believe but " loving fellow-creature" which Na- that in the present case he expresses ture and poetry have so deeply conse- himself dramatically, and that not even crated to their tenderness; and Tray's the relative meaning of his utterance is virtues will find abundant sympathy even to be charged upon him. There are at among those who hold exploded theories least not wanting in this very volume concerning them.
lines in which the idea of continued divine intervention is merged in a larger whatever its philosophic outcome, his view of the capabilities of human exist- not least valuable contribution.- Conence; to the study of which it remains, temporary Review.
A PROBLEM IN HUMAN EVOLUTION.
BY PROFESSOR GRANT ALLEN.
" HARDLY any view advanced in this body. Bearded and beardless races work,” says the illustrious author of the alike have the back smooth, and even Descent of Man, “has met with so when a considerable quantity of hair much disfavor as the explanation of the appears on the limbs and breast, the loss of hair in mankind through sexual back, and especially the spinal region, is selection.” Indeed the friends and foes absolutely free, thus completely reversof Mr. Darwin's great theories have been ing the characteristics of all other mamequally ready, the one party to disclaim malia." When we consider the comand the other party to ridicule the ac- paratively helpless condition to which count which the founder of modern man has been thus reduced, as well as philosophic biology has given of the pro- the almost universal human practice of cess whereby man, as he supposes, grad- substituting artificial clothing, derived ually lost the common hairy covering of from the skins or wool of other animals, other mammalia. Mr. Wallace, with all for the natural apparel which the species his ability and ingenuity, finds it neces- has so unaccountably lost, it does not sary to call in the aid of a deus ex ma- seem surprising that even Mr. Wallace china to explain the absence of so useful should be staggered by the difficulty, and and desirable an adjunct ; for he be should fall back upon an essentially sulieves that natural selection could never pernatural explanation. have produced this result, and he there- The great key to the whole problem fore feels compelled to put it off upon lies, it would seem, in the fact thus forc" some intelligent power,” since he de- ed upon our attention, that the back of nies altogether the existence of sexual man forms the specially hairless region selection as a vera causa. Mr. J. J. of his body. Hence we must conclude Murphy in his recently published revi- that it is in all probability the first part sion of Habit and Intelligence has taken which became entirely denuded of hair. up the same ground with a more directly Is there any analogy elsewhere which hostile intent; and Spengel has also for- will enable us to explain the original cibly given expression to his dissent on loss of covering in this the normally hairthe plea of inadequate evidence for the iest portion of the typical mammalian supposed preference. It seems highly body? The erect position of man apdesirable, therefore, to prop up Mr. Dar- pears immediately to suggest the requirwin's theory by any external supports ed analogy in the most hairless region of which observation or analogy may sug- other mammals. gest, and if possible to show some origi- Almost all animals except man habitnal groundwork in the shape of a natural ually lie upon the under surface of the tendency to hairlessness, upon which body. Hence arises a conspicuous differsexual selection might afterwards exertence between the back and the lower itself so as to increase and accelerate the side. This difference is seen even in depilatory process when once set up. lizards, crocodiles, and other reptiles,
The curious facts for which we have amongst which, as a rule, the tegumento account are something more than the tary modifications of the under surface mere general hairlessness of the human are much less extended and less highly species. In man alone, as Mr. Wallace differentiated than those of the upper. clearly puts the case, “ the hairy cover
the hairy cover. It is seen amongst birds, which usually ing of the body has almost totally disap- have the plumage far less copious on the peared ; and, what is very remarkable, breast than on the back. But it is most it has disappeared more coinpletely from especially noticeable in mammals, which the back than from any other part of the have frequently the under side almost
entirely bare of hair, while the back is of progression of the animal is on all covered with a copious crop. Now, it fours and resting on the knuckles.” The would seem as though this scantiness of ornithorhyncus has a flat tail, on which natural clothing on the under side were it leans for support, and this, says Mr. due to long-continued pressure against Waterhouse, “is short, depressed, and the ground, causing the hair to be worn very broad, and covered with coarse away, and being hereditarily transmitted hairs; these, however, are generally in its effects to descendants.
worn off on the under side of the tail in therefore, led to inquire whether all parts adult or aged individuals, probably by of the mammalian body which come into the friction of the ground. The toes frequent contact with other objects are of the very large forefeet, used in burspecially liable to lose their hair. rowing, are also naked, as are the simi
The answer seems to be an easy one. lar organs in the mole and many other The soles of the feet in all mammals are creatures of like habit. The beaver quite hairless where they touch the likewise uses his tail as a support, flaps ground. The palms of the hands in it much in the water, and is said, perthe quadrumana present the same phe- haps not quite erroneously, to employ nomenon. The knees of those species it as a trowel in constructing his dams; which frequently kneel, such as camels and this tail is entirely devoid of hair, beand other ruminants, are apt to become ing covered instead with a coat of scales. bare and hard-skinned. The callosities We can hardly avoid being struck in this of the old-world monkeys, which sit upon instance, as in that of some seals' and their haunches, are other cases in point; sea-lions' flappers, with the analogy of but they do not occur among the more the penguin's wings, which are employstrictly arboreal quadrumana of the ed like fins in diving, and have underAmerican continent, nor among the gone a similar transformation of their lemurs, for the habits of these two feathers into a scale-like form. In the classes in this respect are more similar ground-kangaroos, which use the tail as to those of ordinary mammals. On the
a support trailing behind them on the other hand, the new-world monkeys pos- ground, that organ is again only slightly sess a prehensile tail, with which they covered with coarse hairs, almost entirefrequently swing from bough to bough or ly wanting on the extremity of the under lower themselves to the ground, and in surface; but in the tree-kangaroos, these creatures, says Cuvier, la partie which carry the tail partly erect, it asprenante de la queue est nue en dessous. sumes a bushy and ornamental appearWherever we find a similar organ, no
Like differences occur between matter how widely different may be the the rats and mice on the one hand and structure and genealogy of the animals the squirrels on the other. In those which possess it, we always find the pre- monkeys which, like Macacus brunneus, · hensile portion free from hair. This is sit upon their tails, that organ is also the case with the marsupial tarsipes, with bare. To multiply further instances many rodents, and above all with the would only prove tedious. opossum, which uses its tail quite as Again, when we look at the only mammuch as any monkey uses its hands. mals besides man which have denuded Accordingly its surface is quite bare from themselves of their hairy covering, we end to end, and in some species scaly- find that a great majority of them are a fact which is rendered more compre- water-frequenters. The most completely hensible when we remember that the aquatic mammals, like the whales, poryoung opossums are carried on their poises, dugongs, and manatees, though mother's back, and hold themselves in differing widely in structure, are alike in that position by curling their tails around the almost total absence of hair, while hers.
the hippopotamus is likewise a smoothA few more special facts help to bear skinned animal. Now, the friction of out the same generalisation. In the water is of course far stronger than that gorilla, according to Du Chaillu,“ the of air, and it would seem to have resultskin on the back of the fingers, near the ed in the total depilation of these very middle phalanx, is callous and very thick, aquatic species. Other less confirmed which shows that the most usual mode water-haunters, such as seals and otters,